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Alphabet blogging: P is for…

Peers.1097820_19216071

Oh boy. Just saying that makes me feel like I’m back in high school. As a young teen, I was fond of citing “no peer pressure” as one of my favorite reasons for being a homeschooler. It was only in my later teens that I realized that I did indeed feel peer pressure–for not being ‘girly’ enough, for wanting to write ‘those books’, for wanting a ‘career’ in the first place.

This annoyed me, as I’ve always tried to give people grace for being different. Why can’t they do the same to me?

Nowadays, I sometimes feel peer pressure in the realm of writing as well. At times, I can freeze up, thinking that I’m a total hack next to other writers I know. Sometimes I feel like I’m not ‘edgy’ enough, or ‘Christian’ enough, or…or…or.

Then I remember something I also learned in my late teens–sometimes peer pressure is real. But much of the time, it’s me, playing a guessing game with myself. Misinterpreting what someone says as judgment. Not being grounded and happy enough with who I am as a person–as a writer–that I can confidently stand my ground and say, “This is who I am–take it or leave it.”

This is when I have to step back, take a breath, and regain confidence in myself. Remind myself who I am, who God has shaped me to be, and why I’ve chosen to write what I do. Remind myself that I do not necessarily need the approval of my peers.

Then I can move forward again.

Do you ever have problems with peer pressure? How do you take care of it?

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About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

One comment on “Alphabet blogging: P is for…

  1. Right there with ya, Heather. I think most writers get that feeling at some point; as you point out, it’s a human thing and happens in every area of life. Am I good enough? Am I fitting in?

    In some ways, it doesn’t hurt to look at the question, see if there’s something you want to improve. When I see something that someone else is doing that I can incorporate into myself or my strategy that makes me better, that’s cool. That makes me stronger.

    But sometimes I don’t need to change anything. I just need to remember exactly what you said: Who I am. Who God made me to be. What God has led me to do. I re-center on that and let go the opinions of everyone else. Great post!

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